I mentioned before how Ireland has only won two Olympic athletics medals in my lifetime, both silver. Once upon a time, though, Ireland won two Olympic track and field gold medals within one hour. And one of the winners was claiming his second Olympic victory.
In the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, Dr Pat O’Callaghan retained the Olympic hammer title he had won four years previously in Amsterdam (and which was the first Olympic medal won by the newly-independent Ireland).
Earlier that day, Bob Tisdall won the 400 metres hurdles in a world-fastest time of 51.7 seconds. However, Tisdall was not credited with a world record because he had knocked over the final hurdle – such were the rules in those days.
Here are two very short videos of interviews with each man. The interviewer is Brendan O’Reilly, RTE sports broadcaster and athletics commentator who was a noted high-jumper in his time, once holding the long-standing Irish record at the event. (He also starred in the cult 1970s children’s film Flight of the Doves, where he played an Irish policeman looking for two English kids who ran off to Ireland.)
First up, Pat O’Callaghan looks genuinely modest about his achievement – the first Irish Olympian to win more than one medal:
Next, Bob Tisdall talks about his win – and points out how the first four home in the 1932 400 metres hurdles final would all finish their careers as gold medallists in that same event:
All praise is due to YouTube user packieenright for filming them off his television, pulling across the curtains to block out the sunlight, and then posting them online.